Iridium Communications announced yesterday the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the use of the company’s satellite data service for planes flying overseas. Iridium offers global coverage, and the decision will present the aviation industry with an alternative for long-range voice and data communication systems.
According to Iridium, the decision marks an important milestone in providing corporate and commercial aircraft a cost-effective alternative for implementing Future Air Navigation System communications. FANS requires a direct voice and data link to air traffic controllers, which is provided by Iridium through the company’s cluster of satellites.
“Iridium is a natural choice for aviation safety communications because of our high reliability; global coverage; small, lightweight hardware and the significant cost savings to aircraft operators,” said Matt Desch, CEO, Iridium. “We believe the FAA’s decision validates our position as the optimal satellite service for aircraft operational communications, and opens up significant new opportunities for Iridium in the aviation market.”
Desch believes FANS 1/A over Iridium, once implemented, has the potential to enable aircraft operators to reduce their capital investment by half. The use of Iridium has been under study, validation and extensive in-flight testing for the past five years.